Monday, August 12, 2019

On Language as Darkness

"Why is literature always at the end of words?"
          The poets know
                    For starters
          That language is a lie
Yet the poor philosopher-kings
           Will chase tautologies
                    To their distended ends

Until the words withdraw at sunrise
           Like any would-be army
                    Yet leave the void so near
At the edge of their campfire
          They can't help but mark it down
                    A tragedy of being

The first object that was named
                    Was the death of truth
           And the rest of the string
                    Mere statistics
                              (Damn lies)   

But we love to lie
                    To ourselves
           Other people
That the world is fixed
                    Our souls intact
           Our senses nearly accurate

Our minds are ensconced in words
           Because every other thought's
                    From somewhere other

How familiar they become
                    These dopplegangers

I call thee crow and it is almost as though
                    I defeated you
           And your wordless call
That is far above the ceiling
                    Of philosophy

That's something that we don't want to see
           But words will flatter us
                    Echo as if silent
As long as we don't ask them what they are
           Better to think of distant kings
                    Than parasites

— For we love to be deceived
                    By etymologies
           Double meanings
Oblique phrases
           Ambiguous participles
                    The violence of grammar

It is part of who we pretend we are
           Carved-out thought
                    Instead of nothing
What words are
           When we're not around